This post is by Jennifer Reitmeyer. Jennifer has worked in the wedding industry since 1997. In addition to owning MyDeejay, an award-winning wedding entertainment firm serving the Washington, D.C. market, she also maintains a wedding business blog, WeddingIQ, and a blogging and social media service for wedding businesses, Firebrand Messaging. Jennifer is available for small business coaching, speaking, and writing opportunities. Read more at jenniferreitmeyer.com.
We’re all juggling busy schedules, and between prospective clients and those who’ve already booked, most of us are in communication overload. Phone conversations, emails, and in-person meetings can leave even the most organized Pro feeling overwhelmed. However, effective client communication is so important. Not only does it set the tone for a client’s impression of our business, but it also plays a huge role in how well we carry out our services at the wedding itself.
Here are five tips for getting the most out of your communication with clients.
1. Be prepared. It’s great to be accessible to your clients, but if you don’t have their information on hand when you accept their calls or respond to their emails, your instant response won’t matter – clients will fear that you don’t really know who they are and what they want. It’s essential that you take a moment to review your notes on a client before communicating with him or her, and that you have a plan.
2. Structure your communication. For a phone conversation, this might mean just a quick introduction outlining what you want to accomplish on the call (Example: “Today we’ll be going over the seating arrangements, confirming your centerpieces and linen colors, and answering any questions you may have.”) In an email, it’s even easier: just separate the most important points with paragraph breaks or bullet points so that the message is easy to follow.
3. Be thorough. If you’ve reviewed your notes beforehand, you should have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish in the communication. Over the course of the conversation, be sure that you’ve gathered all the information you need, and don’t be afraid to ask a client to clarify any points that may be confusing or open to interpretation.
4. Ask, “Is there anything I’ve missed?” Most clients will have questions or concerns when you’re communicating with them, but not all will be vocal about them. It’s important to invite the client to participate in the conversation and to ensure that they are not left with any lingering questions when the discussion is over.
5. End with an action plan. More than any other part of the conversation, this step demonstrates your commitment to your clients’ satisfaction and builds your clients’ trust in you. You’ll want to confirm any information that you’ve promised to provide (such as menu ideas, song suggestions, or vendor recommendations) and give the client a specific timeline for when to expect this information to be delivered. If the client is supposed to get back to you with anything, clarify the expectation for that as well.
By improving your communication with clients, you’ll be setting yourself up for success at every wedding, and enhancing your business image along the way.